I took one of my colleagues to Sweatshop over lunch the other day to get her a new pair of running shoes. We often go running together at work, but recently she's been having some problems with the tendons in one of her feet, and a trip to get her gait reassessed and to purchase a new pair of trainers was long overdue. Apart from anything else, until she got a new pair, we couldn't go out running together.... and it's good to get away from your desk every now and again to have a good old moan in the fresh air.
As ever, Sweatshop were brilliant: expert staff, detailed video analysis and a good set of recommendations. We quickly ascertained that the old shoes were knackered and that, although they were supportive enough for a mild overpronator, the toe-box was too large for someone with such narrow feet. Over time, the foot bed had moulded her foot into an awkward running position that was hurting her tendon as she planted her foot. Good, detailed analysis, eh? For a runner, it's a great shop.
A pair of shoes was duly selected and we wandered over to the till to complete the transaction.
"Do you offer a discount for Virgin members?"
The store is attached to the Virgin Active gym in Nottingham where I am a member. My colleague lives in Derby, but is apparently a member at the Virgin gym there. Mind you, she'd be lucky. I've been buying my trainers here since I joined the gym more than a decade ago, and I've never once received a....
"Yes. If you've got your membership card, then I can give you 10% off."
WHAT? You mean that I've been paying more than I need to with every item I buy here? For ten years? [slight pause as my brain runs through the trainers, running tops, hats, swimming goggles, gloves, shorts and who knows what else that I've bought here over the years] And you don't think to advertise this fact to gym members who walk past your shop every single time they come training?
As my colleague pointed out with a smirk: if you don't ask, you don't get.
Still, the last laugh is on her: when I got home, I remembered that I still have a 20% discount voucher for Sweatshop that came with my entry into the Robin Hood half marathon.
Could have saved you an extra 10%! IN YOUR FACE, SMART ARSE!